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On the Uses of Modern Technology…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes,

How on earth you expect any form of instant response, I really cannot imagine. I received your missive last evening via your Ghillie friend two full days (according to him) after you entrusted the message to his care! As you pointed out, he was somewhat the worse for drink and given that he had to make his own way from Balmoral (in Scotland) to Baker Street (in London!)… Really Holmes, I don’t know what you expected me to do.

As I appear to be the only member of the Holmes/Watson team who has any sense at the moment, I naturally sent an urgent telegram to our detective pal Logan McCrae, who, at least, is actually in Scotland, and I trust that by now he has executed a suitably last-minute rescue and you are now sitting in the snug bar of the Tilted Wig in Aberdeen.

I am sending this response (also by telegram – and very expensive it is too) to that very same hostelry, so I would urge you to reply via the same method, confirming your rescue etc.

I might also point out that had you bothered to be at home the other day when I called round as requested, instead of going off to some ridiculous and poncy soiree (Mrs Hudson’s words) with several rather dubious members of the royal family, none of this might have happened.

Let me know when you return to Baker Street and I shall call round to offer a full examination of your faculties.

Yours, rather wearily

Watson

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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Balmoral Daze…

From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson –  If you are reading this, my Missive has finally reached its destination; however, my hopes are not high of such a successful outcome, as the Ghillie whom I entrusted with my desperate scribblings was, I fear, in a massive state of intoxication, and could barely propel his form in a forward upright motion; nevertheless, I shall attempt to enlighten you as to my whereabouts.

In all honesty, the chances of my being found alive are very slim, as my body’s vital fluids are being drained as I write, and the weakness and feebleness are now spreading by infinitesimal degrees towards my cerebral functions and I am finding it increasingly hard to keep my mind on the subject-matter in question. Should you, by the tiniest chance, have received this, and are digesting my words now, I beg you to follow my instructions to the letter, and arm yourself with your trusty piece, take plenty of ammunition, and use the skills garnered from your years in the wilds of the Hindustani foothills, as my jailers are hardened desperadoes, inured by years of callous acts of violence – Evil Incarnate – and would think nothing of adding yet another innocent victim to their back-catalogue of Carnage.

I am being held underneath Balmoral Castle – the entrance to this vast underground warren is at the back of the Cold Pantry next to the Housekeeper’s quarters – I will put my trust in your Physician’s deductive intuition and hope you can follow the trail before it has grown too cold.

Your friend, much weakened, SH.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Fishing for Clues…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

December 14th (still) continued…
Having ascertained the whereabouts of Littlemill from one of the servants, I ordered a trap and set out to bring my bosom chum back to the bosom of his chum, or put another way, I hastened forth to yank my wayward companion out of his current dalliances in order that we might employ ourselves more productively at Balmoral.

As expected, I found Holmes sitting by the river with his rod out, studying the movements of spawning salmon in the Girnock Burn. He was also, as expected, somewhat the worse for several glasses of malt whisky, which I ascertained our pal Stevenson had left at his side (bastard), before somewhat typically trotting off on some storytelling picnic. In any case, it took me some considerable time to persuade my companion into the trap before we were able to set off back to the castle.

Naturally enough, Holmes was as good as useless for the rest of the day, so I put him to bed and left him to sleep off what I fervently desire will be a stinker of a hangover. Having the rest of the day to kill, as it were, I sought out the King’s secretary and had him go over the details of the case so far. They are thus:

Several letters written in what purports to be human blood, have been delivered for the attention of His Highness demanding that he refrain from consorting with the well-known music-hall star, Felatia Spankwater, who is currently appearing in Whoops, There goes my Virginity! at one of Aberdeen’s popular theatres. I did ask (in a round-about way) if these stories are true, and of course, the secretary denied everything. However, the difficulty is that whoever is writing these letters is threatening to kill the King if he should ever again meet with the aforementioned beauty.

Rather annoyingly, I was a bit at a loss what to do without the guidance of my companion, so I determined to give him until tea-time and then wake the drunken bugger up!

Watson

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Holmerian Epic…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

December 14th continued…

After questioning several members of the household, I returned to my room to find the following note had been pushed under the door. How it got there is, at present, a mystery:

Watson – just a short note to let you know that, unbeknownst to me, the Ghillie to whom I entrusted my feverishly-scrawled scribbling is an immigrant from the Balkan States, whose command of the written word is rather poor; in consequence, he delivered said scribbling to, would you believe, our old friend Bob Stevenson, who happens to be staying at a place called “Littlemill” , situated not too far from here, on the Girnock Burn.

Rumours of ugly and sinister goings-on at Balmoral have drawn him by the nose, sensing a rollicking Ripping Yarn might come of it. I think the flurry of interest stirred up by his last preposterous Tale has gone to his head – that is bye the bye – I have to admit I was never as pleased to see his enthusiastic grin and twinkling eyes as met my own bleary set of ocular orbs and hear his drily-amused Edinburgh tongue pronounce the Time-honoured phrase, somewhat modified to suit this particular encounter – “Sherlock Holmes, I presume!”.

Your friend, somewhat relieved, SH. 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Room with a Phew…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

In continuation of my previous notes…

December 14th

I awoke this morning somewhat the worse for wear, having spent the night dreaming of spectres and ghostly goings-on which frightened me half to death several times during the night. I determined to share my experiences with my colleague and perhaps gain some insight into my night-time imaginings via his dream-explanation technique. However, when I negotiated the connecting door between my own room and that of my companion, I found that not only was Holmes not in his room, but his bed had not been slept in.

Initially, I thought he might have tarried with that reprobate John (mine’s-a -scotch) Brown, who occasionally scares the servants with his stories of long-legged beasties and the likes. However, I was told by the under-footman (or was it the over-understairs-man?) that Brown is spending all his time with some old queen in the village, so that theory was out the window.

I put myself in Holmes’ shoes. No, really – I put on his shoes and paced about the room looking thoughtful (as I’m sure Holmes would do in the circumstances). It was thus that I was able to retrace his steps, quite literally, via several tell-tale clues – Holmes’ deer-stalker on the edge of the bath; a large turd in the WC; traces of singed hair from my companion’s curling-tong activities; and most telling of all – a hand towel lying in a heap on the bathroom floor. Now, knowing Holmes as I do, I could not picture a scenario where he might allow a dropped towel to stay dropped. It was at this point that it occurred to me that I was wearing his shoes, in which case he had clearly left the room unprepared. In other words – he had been abducted.

Watson

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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King’s Ransome…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes,
As requested, I have attached my initial notes on our current escapade for your eventual perusal. Assuming, of course, that you will still be alive when that time comes…

December 9th
At my behest, Sherlock Holmes eventually arrived at my lodgings in order to peruse the apparently ‘dangerous package’ sitting on my living room table. My companion, in his inimitable style, produced a stethoscope and proceeded to listen to the aforementioned parcel for several minutes. After deducing that it was not a bomb (as he had reason to believe), Holmes took it out to the street where he passed it to one of his infamous urchins to dispose of. It was a minute or two later while I was pouring much-needed brandies for both of us, that we discerned a slight ‘bang’ in the distance. Lestrade duly informed us that the urchin was sadly no longer with us and the package had in fact been a canister of nitro-glycerine which the boy presumably had jiggled about a little too much.

Since there was little either of us could do, Holmes proposed that we should forget the matter for the moment and proceed with our investigation into what he is calling ‘the Case of the King’s Ransom’.

December 11th

Holmes and I boarded the next available locomotive bound for the east-coast line, towards Balmoral. Holmes plans to stay a night in Aberdeen (with our old pal Logan McRae) before setting out for the castle. Naturally, he has not availed me of the details of this investigation, save for veiled hints that Moriarty-type villains may, or may not be, lurking in the vicinity of Balmoral. For my part, I have spent my time sketching Holmes’ profile, as he gazes mutely out of the window.

More to follow…

Watson

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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